Call it “normal” or a “new normal,” but it feels like we’re collectively returning to…something. That mixed feeling of closure and relief and uncertainty will course through “Neon Life,” the season-closing concert from Milwaukee’s venerable Present Music ensemble. It’s set to take place, virtually, on Friday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m.

“Will-you/won’t-you join Present Music for its final virtual ensemble concert of the season, which shines a light on this post-pandemic moment of reconnecting with life?” asks Present Music, which is closing its 39th (!) season. Tickets for the pre-recorded “Neon Life” begin at $10. Ticket-holders will also gain access to an interactive online event, where they can chat with the artists, composers, and Present Music directors before and after the concert. The concert will be available on-demand through September 11, 2021.

Aviya Kopelman_Neon Lights_Promo from TankThink on Vimeo.

Befitting a virtual Present Music performance, there’s more to “Neon Life” than just music. Milwaukee production studio TankThink—headed up by beloved story rapper Wes Tank—filmed the concert at an empty Turner Hall Ballroom.  That concert includes new pieces from Aviya Kopelman (“Neon Lights”), Henry Threadgill (“Old Locks And Irregular Verbs”), David Lang (“Learn To Fly”), Tansy Davies (“Neon”), and Daniel Kidane (“Winged”). Sprinkled throughout will be four movements from Louis Andriessen’s “Life.” Each will be accompanied by original short films from TankThink.

“As hope for our shared future illuminates joy and possibility as much as fear and loss,” says Present Music, “‘Neon Life’ features artists of our time, who capture our moment with clarity, reverence, and the requisite sense of adventure.” Find more information about the show HERE.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.